Lunar New Year in Vietnam

Tet is the celebration of the Lunar New Year in Vietnam. It is a tradition passed down from Chinese culture, but the Vietnamese have their own style of doing things.  It’s the most important holiday of the year, and can be celebrated up to a whole month long.

Companies have big Tet parties to celebrate and award their employees. (Check out ours from last year below!)

Vietnam Vespa Adventures
“Chuc suc khoe!” – Cheers to your health!

In 2016, Tet will celebrate the Year of the Monkey monkey, beginning with Lunar New Year’s Eve on February 7th. Colorful lights, lanterns, and an abundance of fragrant flowers will line the streets, with Golden Apricot Blossoms symbolizing good fortune.

Lunar New Year Flower Vietnam
Our drivers carrying some lucky Golden Apricot Blossoms.

Similar to New Year’s Eve on the Gregorian calendar, December 31st,  Lunar New Year’s Eve is filled with excitement. People get together with friends and family to celebrate, watch fireworks & parades and, of course, eat and drink.  A must-try is Banh Tet, a scrumptious, sweet and salty rice cake with red bean paste and pork.

On the morning of Lunar New Year’s Day, February 8th this year, it is a tradition for women and girls to wear their best Ao dai and men wear their best clothes to go to a Buddhist pagoda with their families to pray for a good fortune for the upcoming year. People will then go home and make offerings to the ancestors, which vary from fake paper money to fake paper houses. After this, gifts are exchanged. It is most common to give money, especially to children and elders. Money is usually given in these special envelopes and known as “Lucky Money”.

Tet traditions
Lucky Money!

Then… the partying begins! Family and friends gather to celebrate the New Year with lots of beer and homemade Vietnamese Rice Wine (beware this stuff is stronger than you may think!).

So you may be wondering… what should you do or where should you go during Tet?

Honestly, unless you know a local Vietnamese person to spend this special time of year with, it may not be that eventful. A majority of businesses and restaurants close for at least a few days. We recommend hopping over to Siem Reap, Cambodia where Lunar New Year isn’t as big of a celebration!